Sort file:- Margate, October, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 30 October, 2023.


Earliest 1755-

King's Head


(Name to)

46-48 (149 Pigot's Directory 1832-34) High Street


King's Head 1850

Above photo, circa 1850.

King's Head Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown.

King's Head 1860

Above photo showing the "King's Head" in 1860 before the Marine Drive was built.

King's Head 1930

Above photo, circa 1930, kindly sent by Keith Bully.

O S Map 1873

O S Map 1873.

King's Head

Above photo 1960.

King's Head 1960

Above photo taken with permission from micropubcrawl 1960.

O S Map 1954

Above map 1954.

King's Head card 1980s

Above card circa 1980.


The "King's Head" was renamed the "Waverley" in 1999 and now 2013 called "Morgan's," although I believe it was also called "la Galleria" and "Rocca Bar" between that. It was one of the oldest family pubs in Margate. The section of the pub in the High Street certainly dates back to circa 1755.

The "Kings Head" established itself first as an accredited Town House, hosting auction sales and providing for the gentry who frequented the bathing rooms which ran from the Pub to the Harbour.

The bathing rooms had rear access to the beach via a wooden staircase from which horse drawn bathing machines would convey clients to the medicinal waters.

The old timbered King's Head in Margate High Street was destroyed in a dreadful storm in 1808, which destroyed much of the Lower High Street (including Benjamin Beale's bathing rooms and machines) and also wrecked the town's Tudor pier, but miraculously left the "Kings Head" intact. A government grant allowed for a Promenade to be built at the rear and it was this that was to provide the platform for the later development of the pub. Later repaired, the pub traded in the 1980s as the only Courage tied house in the Isle of Thanet.

The original pub extended further back that it is now and had just four rooms above and a slender bar below.

Initially the expansion of the pub was to occur laterally, so that by 1885 the "Kings Head Hotel" occupied 46-48 High Street. Within ten years, a massive development took place rear ward with the construction of a multi-storeyed hotel annex with frontage on Marine Drive.

The cellars were adjacent to the old sea wall and an old Iron rings can still be seen in the old wall which boats were tied to. This is now a good 6 metres away from the current sea wall.

As well as accommodation it offered Billiards, Coffee and Smoking Rooms plus stabling. In the early years of the 1900's the establishment was known as "Isaac's Hotel" and Fish Restaurant.

The artist George Morland favoured the "Kings Head" and described it as "a pleasant house for at high water the sea comes up to the very wall outside the house and if you fell out of the window, must surely drown."

In 1785 young Morland stayed at 8 Love Lane and would pay for his drinking excesses by portrait painting the eminent visitors to Margate. When he was skint, he would offer an Innkeeper an impromptu sketch of his tavern.

On one occasion the artist put away his easel and became a Jockey at the Margate races, which used to be organised from the "King's Head" (Pig and Horse races at Mount Pleasant and Shottendane were very popular).

Morland went on to win the main race, but so incensed an army of beaten backers "Four Hundred Sailors, Smugglers and Fishermen" led by a disgruntled Innkeeper - that they manhandled the painter from his mount and wanted to throw him into the sea.

Luckily, John Mitchener of the "New Inn" (later the "Ruby Lounge" PH) rode to his rescue. That evening, Morland, after three crowns worth of punch at the "King's Head," went off with his friends to seek reprisals.

Armed with his swordstick he encountered a stout sailor on the old Bridge, outside the "Royal Albion" (Now "Barnacles" Public House) in King Street. In the ensuing affray the sailor, despite his weighty bludgeon, "Got his gruel;" and presumably Morland and his companions returned to the "King's Head" to Celebrate.

In 1798 five men were arrested in the "King's Head." James John O'Coigley, alias James John Fevey, alias O'Quigley, John Alley, Arthur O'Connor, Leary and Binns were accused of High Treason, which lead to the conviction, hanging and beheading of James John O'Coigley.

William Crofts, (son of Robert Crofts of St Peter's 1701-1758 and Judith Sampson 1709-1780) was Christened 26th November 1746 St Peter's died 1809.

Married Susanne David born c.1746 24th October 1769 Walloon Church Canterbury Kent. She died c. July 1828 of General Decay and Buried Zion Chapel Burial Ground Margate 15th July 1828.

Children: Mary Crofts born 10 Oct 1770 Bapt 28th Oct 1770.

William bapt 5th Jan 1772.

Susanna born 12th March 1774 Bapt 1st May 1774.

Robert bapt 14th April 1776.

Judith bapt 26th April 1778.

Anne bapt 3rd Feb 1782.

Judith born 16th Feb 1784 Bapt 7th March 1784.

Peter David born 3rd May 1785 St Peter's Bapt 22nd May 1785, St Peter's Died 6th June 1864 Commercial Quay Dover Kent, Married 27th July 1806 to Mary Fuller 1781-23rd Oct 1836 Dover.

Richard Crofts Born 16th Jan 1787 Bapt 11th Feb 1787.

Martin Crofts born 26th Jan 1790 Bapt 7th March 1790.

Richard Dendy Crofts the "Kings Head" in Pigots 1823, 1826\/27\/28\/29 and 1839 and 1840 Pigots High Street.

Emily Mary Crofts 1847 and 1848 Bagshaws, King's Head 149 High Street
1884 Bagshaws Emily Mary Crofts, Kings Head 149 High Street.


In 1840 Richard secured a couple of plots in the burial ground for himself and his family. This was written in the burial book after the entry for Mrs William Crofts of Reading Farm near Margate who died of Dropsy and interred 3rd Feb 1840.

Richard died of Mortification aged 60 in the August of 1847 and interred August 19th 1847 in the Chapel grounds. His steaned grave is still there, although many around his are rotting away. (Graves being steaned means they are lined with brick, stean being the old word for stone.

I have been told has been well kept and looked after by a present relative.

The Crofts of Broad Street Margate were major house and land owners, a Crofts Court and Place is shown on many early maps of Broad Street and Market Place, Margate.


Kentish Gazette 14 January 1834.


Jan. 7, at Margate, Mrs. Lowen, wife of Mr. Lowen, landlord of the "King's Head Tap." The deceased was generally respected, and her death will be severely felt.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 January 1845.

On Thursday last, the members of the "King's Head" annual bet dinner sat down to a sumptuous repast, provided by Mr. Crofts, with his wonted liberality. Mr. George Staner presided, with great tact and ability. The usual loyal toasts were drank, and appropriate songs sung by Messrs. Wood, Cramp, Finn, &c., after which the company vied with each other in contributing the largest share towards the evening's hilarity. Mr. Wright, of the "York Hotel," deputy chairman on this occasion, created bursts of laughter by reciting with that force and perspicuity for which he is celebrated, the heads of a Lecture he intends to deliver during the present winter, at the Literary and Scientific Institution, on natural theology, the syllabus of which was kindly supplied on the spur of the moment by Mr. Creed, of the "White Hart." Mr. Joseph Staner enchanted the audience by singing his favourite comic song of Mrs. Mountain and her dog; the bow wow of the miniature canine was imitated to the life; in the growling of the mastiff, he was ably assisted by — Johnson. The serio comic tale of Dunn and his hare, was admirably recited by Mr. Pickering, and received with rounds of applause. The duet of Steam, Steam, by Messrs. Boys and Towne, was deservedly encored, while Mr. C. Kidman shone as usual in his Table Talk, us well as in the affecting ballad of "Old Duke" in character. Amongst the speeches made upon this occasion, those of Captains Elton and Nicholson deserve particular notice, as masterpieces of eloquence, as also Mr. Osborne, the secretary’s lengthy oration on the nature and essence of speech-making, and its affinity to the betting book. After an evening spent in the pleasantest manner, and with the kindest feeling amongst all present, the members separated before midnight, promising themselves the pleasure of meeting again on the same day twelvemonths.


Kentish Gazette, 31 August 1847.


ALL persons having demands on the Estate of the late Mr. RICHARD DENDY CROFTS, of the "King’s Head Hotel," MARGATE, are desired to forward the same forthwith to Mr. W. D. Pickering, 3, High Street, Margate; and all persons indebted to the said Estate are requested to pay the same immediately to the said Mr. W. D. Pickering.


Margate, 24th August, 1847.


From the Kentish Gazette, 25 April 1848.


At All Saints' church, Gordon-square, London, Mr. Thomas Gardner, of Northampton, to Sarah Powell, eldest daughter of Mr. Osborne, of the "King's Head Hotel," Margate.


Kentish Gazette, 5 June 1849.


The "King's Head Inn and Tap," at Margate, close to the Harbour; a very valuable Freehold Property, in a commanding situation, and doing a lucrative business.

MR. V. J. COLLIER WILL SELL BY AUCTION. AT the "Fountain Hotel," CANTERBURY, on WEDNESDAY, June 27, at Twelve, an exceedingly valuable FREEHOLD PROPERTY, known as the "King's Head Hotel," situate in the High-street, Margate, and commanding a fine sea view. The premises afford extensive accommodation and include a spacious coffee room and smoking room, numerous private sitting rooms, 28 sleeping apartments, and ample domestic offices, with a capital tap-house adjoining, doing an extensive trade.

The above old established house has for a long period enjoyed a large share of public patronage from summer visitors, in addition to which it has a good commercial connexion and an excellent local tavern business, in proof of which it may be mentioned that Mr. Croft, the late tenant, who held the property for upwards of 30 years, amassed a handsome competency during his occupation.

The property may be viewed, and particulars obtained of Messrs. Farleys and Mercer, solicitors, Canterbury; and of Mr. V. J. Collier, 3, Moorgate-street, London.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 12 June 1849.


Important sale of the extensive Brewery of Messr's Flint, including 30 old established Inns and Public Houses, and other valuable property.

Mr. V. J., has received instructions to sell by auction, at the "Fountain Hotel," Canterbury, on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26th and 27th of June, at 12 o'clock each day, (in consequence of the death of the senior acting partner and the retirement of the surviving partners,) the valuable property known as Messrs. Flint's Brewery, in Stour Street, Canterbury, and the Inns, Public Houses, and other valuable property connected with theirwith. The first day sale on Tuesday, 26th June, 1849, will comprise the following property in and near the city.

Public houses.

Lot 1. The "City of Canterbury," situate on the road to Whitstable. Freehold.

Lot 2. The "George and Dragon," Westgate without, leasehold under Hind's charity for 17 years unexpired.

Lot 3. The "Three Compasses," Westgate within. Freehold.

Lot 4. The "Bell Inn" and Coach Office, in the High Street. Freehold.

Lot 5. The "Prince of Wales," St. Alphege Lane,. Freehold.

Lot 6. The "Weavers Arms," Broad Street, freehold and partly leasehold.

Lot 7. The "White Swan," Northgate. Leasehold under St. John's Hospital for a short term, at a ground rent.

Lot 8. The "Kings Head," Northgate. Freehold.

Lot 9. The "Swan Inn," at Sturry (close to the railway station). Freehold.

Lot 10. The "Ship," St. Martins Hill, freehold.

Lots 12. The "Star Commercial Inn and Tap," St George's, close to the Cattle market and Dane John. Freehold.

Lot 13. The "Blue Anchor," Old Dover Lane, near the Cattle market. Freehold.

Lot 14. The "Fleece Inn," High Street, opposite to the Corn market. Freehold.

Lot 28. Three neat Cottages opposite the Brewery, with large gardens extending to the river.

Lot 29. The "Two Brewers" public house and Spirit Warehouse, adjoining the last lot.

Lot 31. The "Black Dog" public house, Castle Street.

Lot 34. The "Duke's Head" Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 35. The "King's Head," Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 37. The "Royal Exchange," public house, Stour Street.

Lot 38. The "Kentish Arms," public house, and 5 cottages in Jewry Lane. Leasehold for a short term at a low rent.

Lot 40. The "Duke William," at Ickham, abiout five miles from Canterbury. Freehold.

Lot 41. The "Royal Oak Inn," at Deal. Freehold except a small portion.

Lot 42. The "King's Arms," Beach Street, Deal, and Cottage in the rear. leasehold for a short term, at a Ground rent.

Lot 43. The "Fleur De Lis," near the Railway Station, Dover. Leasehold for a term of 6 years, at a Ground rent of 3.

Lot 44. The "Two Brewers," Limekiln Street, Dover. leasehold for a term of 46 years, at a ground rent of 3.

Lot 45. The "Fountain Inn, adjoining the Market place at Dover. Freehold.

Lot 46. The "Lord Nelson," Radnor Street, near the harbour, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 47. The "Bricklayers Arms," Fancy Street, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 48. The "Castle Inn," at Sandgate. Leasehold for a short term, at a ground rent of 7s. 6d.

Lot 49. The "King's Head Hotel and Tap," at Margate. Freehold.

Lot 50. The "New Inn," at Elham, on the road to Hythe. Freehold.

Lot 51. The "King's Arms," at Milton near Sittingbourne. Freehold.

The Public Houses are for the most part in the occupation of unexceptionable tenants, and the majority of them are doing trades, both in beer and spirits, considerably above the average run of Country houses. (None of them have been beer shops; they're all old Licence Houses, with connections of long standing, thereby affording ample security for the permanency of the trade). The Premises generally are in a superior state of repair.

Particulars and Plans, price 1s. each, may be had of Messr's. Furleys and Mercer, Solicitors, Canterbury; at the "Fountain Hotel;" and of Mr. V. J. Collins, 3, Moorgate Street, London.


Kentish Gazette, 25 January 1853.


Osborne:- Lately, in the West Indies, William, second officer of the Royal West India Mail Company's vessel, the Elk, and son of Mr. R. C. Osbourne, of the "King's Head Hotel," Margate.


From the Kentish Chronicle. 13 August 1859. Price 1d.


On Saturday evening last about ten o'clock, the inhabitants of High-street near the “King's Head Inn” were alarmed, in consequence of a report that a young man named Charles Knott, coachman to the Worshipful the Mayor, had cut his throat. On inquiry, the report proved too true. Messrs. Hunter and Thornton were quickly on the spot, and rendered every aid their skill could suggest; and we are happy to say there are hopes of the young man's recovery. The only reason that can be assigned for so rash an act are that the young man had recently lost his wife and child, which appeared to cause a depression of spirits. He had supper with his mother on the night in question and retired up stairs to bed. He had been there but a short time, when his mother was alarmed by hearing screams. On proceeding up stairs, she found he had cut his throat. Ha said he did it with his penknife; but the knife could not be found.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 16 February, 1861.


(Before the Mayor and R. Jenkins, Esq.)

George Keen, a labourer, who said he was born at Herne, was charged with breaking a square of glass at the "King's Head Tap."

Mr. R. C. Osborne stated that the prisoner was outside his house at about nine o'clock last night, making a noise. Witness spoke to him and he went away, but afterwards returned and deliberately broke a square of plate glass, value 40s. He immediately arrested him, and while taking him to the station he attempted to break windows at Mr. Taylor's, the grocer.

The Superintendent said the prisoner had told one of the officers that he had been locked up thirty three times, and at the last union he was at he stabbed a man.

Fined 40s and 7s. costs; and in default one month's hard labour in Dover gaol.

The prisoner informed the bench that if he was possessed of 40 he would not pay a copper.

A second charge was then preferred against him of breaking a pane of glass at Mr. Dunn's, on the Parade, whilst being brought to the police-station.

From the evidence of P.C. Solly, who had the prisoner in charge, it appeared that while passing Mr. Dunn's, he threw his stick with great violence against the window and broke it.

For this offence he was fined 4s. and 7s. coats; in default seven days’ hard labour.

A third charge was then preferred against him of using obscene language in the street when in custody, for which he was fined 6s. and 7s. costs; in default seven days’ hard labour.

He was sent to Dover for six weeks.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 15 June 1867. Price 1d.


The opening trip of the above Club, which was arranged to take place on Monday week, was unavoidably deferred, owing to the un-propitious state of the weather. The annual meeting was held at the Club House (the “King's Head”), under the presidency of T. N. Talfourd, Esq., who was supported by a good muster of the members. The officers of the past year retired, in conformity with the rules, and were re-elected as follows:- President - T. N. Talfourd, Esq.; Captain - H. H. P. Cotton, Esq.; and Vice-Captain and Hon. Sec. - Mr. John Lenham. The President's prize will be rowed for on Wednesday next; after which a cold collation will be provided by the landlord of the Club-house.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2 January 1875.


On the application of Mr. J. Smith, of the "King's Head" Hotel, their worships granted an hour's extension on the 8th for the occasion being the annual Masonic dinner.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 7 April 1900. Price 1d.


The licence of the "King's Head Hotel" in this town has been transferred to Nathan Raphael, late of the "Hotel Marcio, near Mafeking, South Africa.



CRICKET Ann 1792+

CROFTS Richard Dendy 1819-41+ (age 50 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34

CROFTS Emily Mary 1847-48

OSBORNE Robert Chappell 1848-67+ (age 47 in 1851Census) Williams Directory 1849

DALY Harriett 1871+ (manageress age 29 in 1871Census)

SMITH John 1874-75+

CHUBB John Frederick 1881-82+ (age 57 in 1881Census)

CROFTS Emily Mary 1884+

PEARCE Thomas 1890-91+ (age 45 in 1891Census)

RAPHAEL Nathan Apr/1900-01+ (age 38 in 1901Census)

BURNEY George 1903

Sam Isaacs Ltd 1922-30+

Courage & Co Ltd 1938+


King's Head Tap 149 High Street (and posting House opposite the harbour)

LOWAN Mr to Jan/1834 dec'd ("King's Head Tap") Kentish Gazette

ROW George 1839-47+

POWELL Robert 1849+ Williams Directory 1849


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette


Williams Directory 1849From Isle of Thanet Williams Directory 1849


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-